Elk NetworkLayering 101

Gear 101 | March 8, 2017

Long gone are the days of trying to buy the biggest, bulkiest clothing to keep you warm on a hunt, only to find yourself choosing between sweating, but unable to remove your clothing for fear of freezing.

Proper layering lets you hunt in the widest range of conditions. Above, hear Jonathan Hart, Founder of Sitka Gear, and learn what he believes is the key to making good decisions on a hunt: layering. Stay out longer, go further, and get closer with proper layering.Base LayerThis is your first layer of clothing. It’s goal is to keep moisture away from the skin where it can evaporate to prevent from slowing you down with water weight. Some also use this as a primary layer of insulation. These usually come in lightweight, mid-weight, and heavyweight and are used depending on the conditions you are hunting in. Popular fabrics include synthetics for warmer weather, or merino wool for colder weather. Your base layer should typically be tighter fitting.Examples include:Insulation/Mid-LayerThis is what keeps all of your warmth in. It should trap your heat generated from the base layer while still allowing breath-ability. . The goal of this layer is to allow you to move while keeping you warm, but to prevent you from getting overheated. Some people will use their mid-layer as their outer-layer when temperatures aren’t cold. This is the benefit of layering. You can add or subtract as necessary. When it comes to leggings, your base layer and insulation layer may be combined.Examples include:Outer LayerThis is often referred to as your “shell.” layer. It’s designed to be waterproof, or at least water resistant. The goal of this layer should be to protect the skin while repelling wind and water. Goretex is an extremely popular component of high quality outer layers for it’s wind and water repelling abilities. Keep in mind that while on the mountain, you may end up packing this layer if you get too warm, so weight is a factor to take into consideration when purchasing. This layer will vary depending on the time of year as well as location of your hunt.Examples include: